On August 23, Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was shot and killed while serving a warrant in East St. Louis.
Hopkins, who was just 33 years old, was a husband and a father of three. He was laid to rest on Sunday, August 25. As NBC 5 reports, his family said in a statement:
“Words cannot convey the pain of the loss and the emptiness in our hearts. Words also fail to describe the lasting impact Nick had on the lives of everyone who knew him.”
Shortly after the news of his unexpected passing broke, a woman named Cynthia Stanley took to Facebook to share a personal memory of Officer Hopkins.
As Stanley explained, she met Hopkins in 2015 when her car ran out of gas on the side of a highway. Hopkins was the officer who pulled off to the side of the road to help her:
A recent tragedy motivated me to reopen this account. A little over a few years ago I came across a state trooper who…
A recent tragedy motivated me to reopen this account. A little over a few years ago I came across a state trooper who helped me while on the side of the highway. He helped me by taking me to the gas station. During this event, he smiled the entire time and talked about his newborn twins and being a doting husband. He was excited about seeing his babies grow and being a husband to his wife. He shared some endearing moments and I never forgot him. I did the unpopular thing at the time and posted a picture that I took with him thanking him for his kindness.
She then described the moment she learned Officer Hopkins was killed while on duty:
Over the weekend while working in the ER one of my peers was reading out loud an article about a state trooper that had been shot and killed while serving a warrant in Washington Park. My heart about sunk and my first thought was please don’t let it be him. Please don’t let it be him…It was him. Tears filled up in my eyes as I continued to read the rest of the article. His twins are now 4 years old and he and his wife had a new baby. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and children as well as with the rest of the family. This is beyond my understanding. He was one of the good ones just making a living like the rest of us and building a legacy for his family. His kindness will forever live within my heart and I thank him. Rest in peace [Nicholas Hopkins.] These pictures were taken August 5, 2015.
Stanley’s post was shared over 54,000 times since August 28. And thousands of people thanked her for sharing her story, and for “bringing the human side to this human.”